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Via DNA : Time to break silos and join hands at workplace

Only 13% of employees across organisations can work in teams without being interrupted (and complete projects on time), says an employee-focused research study.

Is this true? In an era when team sizes are shrinking and remote/flexi working is gaining in prominence, where does the aura attached towards working in teams now stand? Does it help to work individually, rather than in teams to minimise distractions and accelerate project deliveries?

“Not really,” say HR experts. According to Praveen Rawal, managing director, Steelcase India and Southeast Asia, the evolution from ‘I’ to ‘We’ at work is going to be more significant for achieving organisational goals in 2018.

Hamsaz Vasunia, Head HR, DCB Bank, says ‘teamwork’ is about how different teams come together to service the end customer. “Today, customers want the best solution in the shortest possible time. To make this happen, different individuals have to work seamlessly without letting the baton fall. In this digital world, where a new product has to be launched in the market before the competition, every employee has to work in sync to meet the deadline. For any project to be successful, people with different skill-sets are required to complement each other. They can support each other, energise one another and maximise the overall output.”

According to Thammaiah BN, managing director, Kelly Services India, working in a team creates healthy competition amongst employees and members are able to divide workloads and pressure amongst themselves. “Thus, every individual can be allocated with responsibilities based on their specialisation.”

But beyond the multiple advantages that teamwork brings in for the organisation and its employees, there do exist distractions that cause impediments in the pathway towards team achievements. Conflicts, ego and insecurities often exist within teams that hinder fruitful collaboration. Moreover, research at the University of California points out that once a distraction occurs, it can take as much as 23 minutes for the mind to return to the task at hand.

Vivek Prabhakar, co-founder of Chumbak, says that employees get distracted only when the team gets distracted, “and each person starts working in a different direction. If the team is focused, chances of distraction are minimal. High productivity is all about a combination of single-minded focus on individual tasks, as well as a lot of collaboration to ensure that all team members are on the same track.”

Although togetherness at work is vital for value creation, in excess, it’s a killer, says Rawal. He believes that there needs to be a process wherein workers come together as a group to develop a shared point of view, and then break apart to take the next steps. “This can be achieved through a provision of spaces. Collaboration has caused a privacy crisis, especially in Indian offices where real estate is a constraint,” says Rawal. Experts note that in many companies, there is a high emphasis on open spaces and not enough on private spaces. “In India, which has a collectivist culture, organisations need to optimize real estate more to provide visual, acoustical and territorial privacy options,” says Rawal.

Virtual Working and Teamwork

With teams being agile and employees working virtually, promoting team cohesiveness assumes even greater importance. According to Thammaiah, with video collaboration tools, opportunities for interaction with remote workers can be created. “Social events and team-building exercises will make employees feel part of a team and not isolated.”

To promote cohesiveness, experts say organisations should appreciate teamwork that has achieved common goals. Secondly, conflict resolution between employees by the organisation at the earliest is necessary to ensure productivity remains protected.

Deodutta Kurane, group president, human capital management, Yes Bank, says that building teams that deliver is a leadership responsibility. “A leader must focus on training team ( to collaborate), engaging (by conducting milestone reviews and realigning tasks basis group performance), attracting the right mix of skills and personalities, and motivating teams and developing a shared mindset amongst members. This ensures that teams remain committed to delivering quality in a timely manner.”

Furthermore, employees also have a role in being good team players. Vasunia says first and foremost, individuals should keep their ego in check. “They should respect each other’s views, be inclusive, participate in team events and personally interact more while emailing less.”

Via Shout Out UK : The Importance Of Teamwork In Business And Beyond

Teamwork can often fly under the radar but it’s one of the most worthwhile traits you can possess in your career and in life generally. When you’re able to work well with other people, you benefit in so many different ways. Realising the importance of teamwork will ultimately help you to advance your career, impress your employers and succeed in life, so what’s not to like?

Read on to learn even more about the importance of working in a team in business and beyond.

Exposure to New Ideas

When you work well with other people, you will not only collaborate, you’ll also learn from them and be exposed to new ideas that you might not have otherwise been exposed to. That’s a pretty big deal because you can never learn and grow in life unless you’re exposed to new ideas. This is something you should embrace and make the most of whenever the chance arises.

Mutual Support

None of us in life are completely independent and solo; we all need the support of others to help us out when we’re struggling. That’s something that can apply to any tough times you might experience in the workplace, as well as tough times in your personal life. It’s not easy to get through those difficult things without support, but working with others provides you with a chance of mutual support.

Keeping Everyone On Your Side and On the Ball

If you’re willing to work closely with other people, you’ll also get to strengthen the bonds with the people around you at work and in life. You will then find it easier to keep people on your side and focus on what you need to be doing. In your place of work, this is particularly important because you don’t want fractious problems detracting from the good work you and your team should be doing.

Making the Most of Other People’s Talents for Your Own Ends

You can’t do everything by yourself and if you want your career to progress, you’re going to need the talents of other people in your team. Things like team building treasure hunts demonstrate the importance of using everyone’s skills in order to achieve a common goal. And this can then be transferred to the workplace where everyone combines their talents and abilities to help the business grow.

Efficient Performance

Efficiency is a priority in many workplaces these days, and it’s much easier to achieve optimum efficiency if you’re good at working with the people around you. Any friction or problems between you and the other people in your workplace will simply cause your tasks and overall output to slow down. For a truly efficient performance, you need to have everyone working together and pulling in the same direction.

If you want to succeed at everything you do in life, you need to understand the role teamwork can play in that success. Working well with others benefits you and everyone around you, so work on getting better at it.

via BQThe Importance of Team-Building in the Workplace

Are you worried that your employees and management teams are failing to work well together, resulting in low morale in the workplace? Organising a team-building activity outside of the office could make for a great solution, resulting in productive, efficient, motivated and all-round happy staff members throughout your business.
In fact, here’s three reasons why you should consider making team-building a key part of your business plan:

Team Building

1. It encourages team work

Almost three quarters (70 per cent) of respondents to a study set up by the University of Phoenix have stated that they feel they’re part of a dysfunctional team. Meanwhile, research by Gallup suggests that poorly managed work groups are on average 50 per cent less productive and 44 per cent less profitable.

Facts and figures like these underline the importance of getting teams to work together as much as possible. Team-building events will do this, as they teach participants about how working together will improve the efficiency of all members involved – for example, how one team member can help another one’s weakness.

Team Building

2. It improves communication

A lack of collaboration or ineffective communication has been linked to 86 per cent of all workplace failures cited by employees and executives, a survey reported on by ClearCompany has revealed. A study by HerdWisdom also detailed that 33 per cent of employees believe a lack of open and honest communication will have the most negative impact on employee morale.

Effective communication is an important part of team-building events, as members of a group must talk and discuss options in order to solve a problem that they’ve encountered. Communicating in these scenarios could lead to barriers being broken — employees being shy to talk to each other for instance — which then carries through when staff members are back in the workplace.

Team Building

3. It increases engagement

Did you know that employees who have a high engagement level are 87 per cent less likely to leave a company than those who have a low engagement level? That’s according to research reported on by Officevibe when they were looking into statistics related to disengaged employees.

Mark Jones, the managing director of conference centre and hotel venue Wyboston Lakes, was also keen to add: “Any organisation will benefit from an engaged workforce; employees that are committed, passionate and inspired by their performance will of course generate superior customer service and increased profitability.”

Team-building days are likely to boost engagement among colleagues, as they bond with each other while working together. Friendships could also develop during these events too, with research by Gallup claiming that having a close friend at work can increase engagement by 50 per cent.

via Huffington Post : Teamwork Is What Separates the Good From Great Companies

As a team and workplace specialist, I believe teams are at the heart of every successful organization. If you think about today’s workplace, everyone is working in some form of a team whether it’s a team of two or twenty. It could be a sales team, global team, admin team, engineering team, leadership team or project team. The bottom line is that an organization thrives when teamwork is at its best.

There are plenty of books on the topic about what makes a high performing team or how to get the most of team members. This isn’t rocket science and yet, many companies struggle with how to work collaboratively and effectively together. How often have you heard people talk about being part of a team but not “feeling” like a team?

Over the past twenty years working with thousands of diverse teams across various industries, led me to conclude that the best teamwork is a group of people working together for the greater good of the team – meaning, that each person is willing to forgo their own ego, and make decisions that are truly in the best interest of the team vs their own best interest. This requires a heightened awareness of self and others. Furthermore, the most successful teams – think Olympic teams, like the women’s soccer team or the World Series Baseball team, each player shows up playing at their absolute best, energized, engaged and fully committed to the team goal. To anchor this thought further, Phil Jackson, considered one of the greatest coaches in NBA history said, “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” That’s a powerful statement if you stop and think about what it means. When each person shows up using their strengths, are energized and genuinely collaborating as a team, they are naturally more productive, engaged and performing at their best. Conversely, when one person doesn’t show up and perform or is unwilling to put their own interests aside for the greater good, it negatively impacts the rest of the team. We’ve all experienced this at one time or another, and in fact, we’ve all been the person who isn’t performing. No one person can make the entire team great or successful over the long term, it’s the combined expertise and efforts of every team member that enables a team and company to thrive.

Jessica Gaines, Business Committee for the Arts Coordinator, Americans for the Arts, shared a great example of a company who takes teamwork to a whole other level. ShoreTel, a Sunnyvale, CA-based global telecommunications vendor, organized and hosted a Battle of the Bands for its employees. They put together the bands that competed, funded music lessons to ensure they were prepared to perform, and even provided music rooms where employees could rock out at the office. Needless to say, it was a huge hit, pun intended, and cleverly integrated a form of art into the teambuilding activity. That’s thinking way outside the box.

If you don’t want to go that far out of the box, then at the very least, be sure your team has a clear mission and goals that each team member buys into so that they have a vested interest in the overall success of the team. Also, inject some fun activities along the way to provide opportunities for team members to build trust and stronger working relationships which makes it easier to solve future challenges.

Effective teamwork is good for business. Stronger relationships between team members, greater job satisfaction, energized employees and a more engaged workforce are just a few of the benefits. The accumulation of good talent is what produces great team results. When team members meet their goals, everyone wins. I’ve seen this first-hand, when team members are having fun, more aware, leverage their strengths, and are laser-focused on team results, they ultimately create a continuous positive impact. This leads to a culture of high performance, greater well-being and happy customers inside and outside the organization.

Companies who value teamwork understand that their organizational success is tied to how well their team members work collaboratively to achieve the overall goals. Producing excellent results and delivering value to your customers is what energizes your company culture. So, what can you do to invigorate your team?

About the Author: Michelle Burke is a Communication, Workplace and Team Specialist, published Author, Consultant, and Speaker. She is CEO of The Energy Catalyst Group dedicated to creating more positive and energized workplaces by helping teams be more collaborative, engaged and achieve peak performance. Her years’ experience working with Fortune 100, 500 companies, established her as a leading expert in bridging communication, gender and cultural gaps. She consults with clients using her 3-A Model: Awareness, Accountability and (purposeful) Action to focus on increasing individual, team and organizational energy. Clients include Stanford University, Microsoft, Visa, Disney, Sony, Receptos, Lanza Hair Care, Genentech, HTC, and Sony PlayStation. Michelle authored, The Valuable Office Professional, was featured in Business Week’s Frontier Magazine, LA Times, SF Chronicle, and Wall Street Journal. Her articles have been in Training, HR, and Chief Learning Officer Magazines. She also co-created Personalogy™ game that made Amazon’s Top 100 Best Selling Card Games of 2015. Please connect with her Michelle@energycatalystgroup.com.

Via LinkedIn : Having been a journalist for much of my adult life, I can say with certainty that exercising complete objectivity is extremely hard to achieve, whether you’re reporting a story or evaluating the talent of a potential hire. How you feel about someone personally, how you respond to the vibe they give off, is almost impossible to remove from the equation.

I’m particularly aware of this every year around this time when the BBWAA (the Baseball Writers’ Association of America) votes on which former Major League Baseball greats (retired at least five years) will be elected to the Hall of Fame. For the players whose statistics are unquestionably great (and were not at the epicenter of the steroids storm) entry is all but assured: pitchers with 300+ wins, hitters with 500+ home runs, etc. In the workplace, the equivalent would be making Dean’s List at a prestigious university or years of distinguished service at a top-flight company.

But that’s rarified air, and let’s face it, many of us are not flashing those kinds of gaudy statistics on our resume. For us mere mortals in the workplace, our likability factor becomes a big consideration. Because, do you know what that hiring manager is asking him/herself after your work experience and education have been noted? “Is this the kind of person my team is going to want to be elbow-to-elbow with for more waking hours than they spend with their spouses?” The smaller the office, the bigger that factor becomes. So don’t dismiss the importance of your overall likability.

Here are some simple ways to not shortchange yourself in that department:

Ditch the Bitchy Resting Face. Most of us are unaware of how dour and disapproving our default facial expression is when we are listening to someone else. I’m not suggesting you have a frozen, toothy grin at all times – that looks fake. But sport an engaged, interested closed-mouthed quarter smile when others speak to you. It’s the simplest way for them to have positive feelings about interacting with you.

Give the Bitching a Rest. Even if your former employer was slightly less understanding than North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, don’t bring your tales of woe to a job interview or a new company and hold regular gripe fests. Negativity weighs on an office culture and can bring everyone else down. If there’s a problem at work, strive to fix it through creative solutions instead of whining and moaning about it.

It’s Not About You. The best way to get hired and get promoted is to show that you’re constantly thinking of ways to make the company better, preferably in a way that more substantive contributions from you would be necessary. If you can prove that your ideas would result in greater performance and productivity, then your raise should pay for itself. Remember, nobody owes you anything. The least likely reason to get promoted these days is because “it’s your turn.”

Have Your Colleagues’ Backs. Try to go one month without saying anything critical about your co-workers. Then try stretching it to two, and so on. I bet you’ll like the results. Getting pulled into water cooler gossip can happen so easily. Rather than piling on, try pointing out an invaluable quality the target of the gossip possesses and say, “Listen, say what you will about (name) but when it’s chaos and crunch time around here, she’s the last one to buckle under the pressure,” or whatever their attribute may be.

These are the kind of people others want to work next to and have shape that all-important company culture.

So what does this have to do with the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame? Well, for those players who statistics didn’t make them a lock to get in, their likability , or lack thereof, played a role in keeping them out. If you are skeptical, just ask players like Jeff Kent and Albert Belle who are still not members and Jim Rice who was forced to wait many more years than someone the baseball writers might have thought was a “good guy.” The toxicity they brought to work with them did not go unnoticed or unpunished.

I’m just one of many people who once believed that the workplace is a strict meritocracy. “Oh, I got that job because I was likely the strongest candidate.” That naive bubble burst for me many years after my first big break in television. I was sitting with my former boss over a beer when I decided to ask him why he had hired me over other candidates for a coveted position.

“You really want to know,” he asked.

“Absolutely,” I replied.

“Cause I figured you were a nice young kid who wouldn’t give me any shit.”

I’ve never forgotten that.

Source : LINKEDIN | MLB Hall of Fame Voting Proves It: Likability at Work Matters